Jon Thompson
Millwright Apprenticeship Training
Quinsam Coal, Hillsborough Resources Limited
John spends time underground and above ground in the machine shops as he repairs and maintains equipment throughout the mine.

Millwright (Journey Person)

Salary Range: 
50,000 - 70,000

In a typical day, Jon spends part of his time “outside” (above ground in the shop) and the rest working 3 kilometers underground in a coal mine. As a millwright, he repairs and maintains equipment throughout the mine. He might replace a motor on a conveyor or bring a piece of equipment to the surface to fix it there. To move around the mine, he drives in a four wheel drive buggy, called a manrider.

For Jon, working underground is one part of his job that he likes most. “You don’t have to worry about the weather outside. Even though it’s dark, it’s basically dry. I don’t have to worry about the snow or heat. You always know your environment.” Jon works shifts of 2 days of 12 hours, followed by 2 nights of 12 hours, and then 4 days off. He returns home at the end of every shift.

He also enjoys the people he works with. Jon has bosses from Brazil and England and different parts of Canada. “My work partner is an electrician from England – we’ve actually became really good friends. It’s neat meeting people all the time.”

To do their jobs well, millwrights have to be good at Math. Previous mechanical experience wasn’t a requirement for Jon, since everything he needed to know he learned on the job and through his apprenticeship training. Jon believes, “that an average Jo can get into this business and do well– as long as they’re willing to give a try at it.” Jon sees great career opportunities in the mining industry. His company constantly offers opportunities for employees to improve their skills. Jon loves being in British Columbia, especially on the coast with the water close at hand. He’s lived in the province his whole life and has no plans to move.